Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger have each conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated. Their results have cleared the way for new technology based upon quantum information.
Quantum mechanics is still a very abstract topic as nothing is happening as planned: each experiment leaving scientists confronted to a (almost) non-physical world that we don’t know about.
In the 60’s, John Bell set up a famous inequality that included hidden variables to describe entangled quantum states. John Clauser developed John Bell’s ideas, leading to a practical experiment. When he took the measurements, they supported quantum mechanics by clearly violating a Bell inequality. This means that quantum mechanics cannot be replaced by a theory that uses hidden variables. Therefore, what we thought was right was indeed, not right.
Alain Aspect then took the lead and improved the John Clauser experiment by upgrading the setup of the experiment and closed an important loophole. Using refined tools and a long series of experiments, Anton Zeilinger started to use entangled quantum states. Among other things, his research group has demonstrated a phenomenon called quantum teleportation, which makes it possible to move a quantum state from one particle to one at a distance.
With these discoveries, we will see in the near future our life changing as our understanding of quantum mechanics evolves.
The ineffable effects of quantum mechanics are starting to find applications. There is now a large field of research that includes quantum computers, quantum networks and secure quantum encrypted communication. Everything will be faster, lighter and more sustainable. Let’s hope that we will see these changes with our bare eyes one day.
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